First thing I did was cut out the internal rubber and removed the felt cover. There’s four little screws located by the hinge that hold the felt cover on. The idea here is to open up the case as much as possible. You’ll notice that only the centers are cut out. You want to leave the rubber lining the edges.
After gutting the inside, I set the components down to get an idea of how it’s all going to be pieced together. The idea was to Velcro the hard drive to the top of the case and have the rest of the components on the base. This actually worked out really well. As always, when working with electronic components, wear an anti-static wrist strap and follow safety guidelines. These fun projects can turn sour fast if you get lazy.
You’ll notice in the photo that there’s some additional components that aren’t included in the parts list. Originally I had a 12V powered USB to SATA adapter. I was going to use that to power the box and drop the voltage down by a 5V regulator. Unfortunately I had a dumb @!# attack and damaged the board attempting to remove the plug from the board. Luckily I had a little USB to SATA adapter I removed from a case from a previous project.
It actually worked out to my advantage and reduced the components due to it not being a powered device. So, instead of regulating the 12V to 5V, I just ran the entire system off of 5V. Anyways, I left that in there in hopes that it will provoke ideas on how to accomplish the same goal… and with a little warning to watch your temperatures when extracting components from an existing board!
You’ll notice the hard drive is sitting on the lid (left) and the Raspberry Pi and USB hub is on the base (right).